Archive for July, 2018

6 Tips for Students to Successfully Maneuver a Career Fair

July 13th, 2018

BY JANE HURST

 

Career fairs are a great way for you to find out what is available to you when you decide to join the work force. There are representatives from many companies on site to answer any questions you may have about a job you are interested in. Career fairs also offer the opportunity to explore many other jobs you may not have considered.  But before you go wading into the work pool, consider the following tips to help you make connections and get a good job.

 

  1. Find out what companies will be at the fair 

There is usually a list of what companies will be sending representatives to the career fair. When you get the list, look it over and mark what companies interest you. Look them up on line and do some research. Know what the companies stand for and what they may be looking for in an employee.

 

  1. Suit up

First impressions are very important, so you do not want to go to the career fair looking like you just woke up. Wear a suit, or dress pants and a dress shirt or skirt. Wearing a suit will help you feel more confident and will show your future employer that you care about their impressions of you. Your confidence will shine through when you speak to representatives.

 

  1. Practice 

Practice what you will say to your future employer. Practice your handshake. A firm handshake will send a strong signal to the representatives. Practice with your parents or friends. Know what you want to highlight about yourself and make sure it is concise and accurate.

 

  1. Turn off your phone 

People want to feel like they matter. These recruiters are at this fair to offer jobs for teens. They do not want to feel like their time is being wasted. A recruiter will think less of you if you keep checking your phone. They are not just paying attention to the person they are talking to. They will also be looking at the next person in line to see how they are handling the pressure of waiting their turn. You cannot make eye contact with a representative if your face is in your phone.

 

  1. Find your representatives

When you get to the fair, make sure you know where your prime representatives are located. Go and talk to them. Shake hands and tell them about yourself. Answer any questions they may have, and then be sure to get their business card. Do not discuss salary. Tell them, instead, how you will fit into their company. Let them know you have done your homework by asking them pointed questions about their company. The next day, write them a thank you email. Let them know you enjoyed meeting them and look forward to hearing from them.

 

  1. Look elsewhere

After you have targeted your first picks, look around the fair. There may be a business that you skipped over the first time that looks interesting. Be sure to stop by other booths and talk to more companies. The more you get your name out, the more networking you are accomplishing. And, one of the key steps to getting a job is networking.

 

If you take the time to prepare for a career fair, you will have many opportunities to network and get hired. Walk proudly and confidently. Talk to your representative and get to know them. Once you have gotten done with the fair, do not forget to write a quick note to all of the representatives you spoke to. The representatives will appreciate that you took the time to write to them and will be more likely to recommend your hiring.

 

Byline:

Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.

 

How To Launch A Business From Your College Dorm Room

July 12th, 2018

 

BY ADAM WITTY

College students with an entrepreneurial spirit may be eager for the day they can leave the confines of their cramped dorm rooms, move into a spacious office and launch the business of their dreams.

But why wait?

“There are plenty of examples of college students who were still living in their dorms when they started what became very successful businesses,” says Adam Witty, co-author with Rusty Shelton of Authority Marketing: How to Leverage 7 Pillars of Thought Leadership to Make Competition Irrelevant.

Just to name a few: Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook; Michael Dell of Dell; Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy of Snapchat; and Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little of WordPress.

Witty, the founder and CEO of Advantage|ForbesBooks (www.advantagefamily.com), knows something about launching a business in the most meager surroundings.

It wasn’t a dorm room, but he did start his now multimillion-dollar company in 2005 in a spare bedroom of his house when he was just two years out of college. Confined by the four walls but not by his vision, Witty mapped out a plan and mission that would see him become the leader of a growing company.

Witty offers a few tips for college students who have been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug:

  • Find a mentor. A good mentor, such as a professor or local business person, can provide valuable advice, help with networking and perhaps even be the inspiration behind the business you launch. Witty’s mentor was Pat Williams, a motivational speaker and senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Williams told Witty that every motivational speaker needs a book, but most don’t have one. In cases where speakers did have a book, it was often self-published and of poor quality. It was Williams who suggested that Witty start a publishing company for people like him who could use the book as a marketing tool.
  • Think of yourself as a brand. College students are well aware of such brands as Nike, Netflix, Apple and Starbucks, among many others. They recognize and maybe even trust these brands, and naturally will think in terms of the corporate brand for whatever business they want to launch. But Witty says that beyond a company brand, it’s also valuable to promote your personal brand. “Regardless of what service or product you plan to offer, it’s important for you to build your visibility and credibility in your field,” he says. “This is especially true when you’re going up against established businesses that have years or decades head start on you in terms of brand awareness.” This may be a challenge for a college student, but by getting yourself and your name in front of as many people as possible, you will be on your way to building trust with your intended clientele.
  • Make use of social media. If you’re worried about how to pay for next semester’s textbooks, it’s unlikely you have a massive marketing budget. What you do have, though, are social media accounts that cost you nothing. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram all can help you spread your message, build your authority and connect with potential customers or clients, Witty says.

Even before you begin, whether you’re starting your business in a dorm room or an office park, you will want to know how you will measure your success, Witty says. What metrics will you use? Will you set as a goal a certain number of leads each month? A certain number of sales or new clients?

“You have to know what success looks like and where you want to end up,” Witty says. “If you don’t, how will you know you’re happy with the results?”

 

About Adam Witty

Adam Witty, co-author with Rusty Shelton of Authority Marketing: How to Leverage 7 Pillars of Thought Leadership to Make Competition Irrelevant, is the CEO of Advantage|ForbesBooks (www.advantagefamily.com). Witty started Advantage in 2005 in a spare bedroom of his home. The company helps busy professionals become the authority in their field through publishing and marketing. In 2016, Advantage launched a partnership with Forbes to create ForbesBooks, a business book publisher for top business leaders. Witty is the author of seven books, and is also a sought-after speaker, teacher and consultant on marketing and business growth techniques for entrepreneurs and authors. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily and USA Today, and has appeared on ABC and Fox.

4 Discounts Every College Student Should Be Using

July 11th, 2018

BY ALEX HASLAM

College is a great time for learning and personal growth. But college can also be expensive, so it’s important to look for ways to save money wherever possible while you’re in school. From clothing to entertainment and other perks, there are student discounts almost everywhere if you know where to look. Here are a few discounts to get you started:

  1. Tech

Technology is an integral part of learning in college, and major tech companies are aware of that. Big-box retailers like Best Buy often offer hefty discounts to college students. Apple, Dell, and other manufacturers also offer student discounts, helping make essential hardware like laptops, tablets, and accessories a bit more affordable. If you need pro software, Adobe, Microsoft, and other software companies do the same. As one of the best student discounts, Adobe offers as much as 60% off its Creative Cloud platform.

If you don’t need any special gear for school but just want a new phone, you can find some good deals for students in that arena as well. However, there’s a catch: many of these promotions run only during the back-to-school season, from around July through September, so keep that in mind and plan your purchases accordingly.

  1. Clothing

If you’re all stocked up on tech but want to liven up your wardrobe, a number of big brands and retailers offer student discounts. A lot of first-time college students find that the clothes they wore in high school are not up to par with professional dress standards in college, so buying some nicer clothes to stay looking put-together can help you stay at the top of the pack in school. To help achieve this goal, Banana Republic offers a 15% discount to both students and teachers, Forever 21 offers 10% off online orders, and J.Crew offers 15% off in store as well.

That’s just a small sample, though. You should always ask at checkout if a clothing store offers student discounts.

  1. Streaming Music and TV

If you need some music while you study (or relax between sessions), you can find student discounts on several popular streaming music services. Both Spotify and Apple Music offer student prices of $4.99 per month. That price gets you all the music you could want—you’d be hard-pressed to find a song, artist, or album that isn’t on one of these services.

Another perk: the Spotify student deal also includes Hulu at no additional charge. Sadly, popular streaming service Netflix doesn’t offer any discounts for students, but if rival Hulu doesn’t work for you, or if you prefer watching shows as they air, it’s worth looking into your cable provider to get a discount (or at least a cheaper package).

  1. Movie Theaters

Catching a movie can help you unwind from a tough week of classes and workdays. Many movie theaters offer student discounts, although the exact amount of the discount—and whether an individual theater offers it at all—varies by location.

Regal Cinemas provides instructions to find out if a local theater offers student discounts, while Cinemark allows you to input your zip code to see nearby theaters with discounts. And although AMC doesn’t have an online tool for checking local theaters, many AMC theaters do give student discounts, so it’s worth asking the next time you go.

Whether it’s your first year of college or your last, you have many student discounts at your disposal. Don’t wait to use them—you’ll miss them when they’re gone!

Alex Haslam graduated from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah in 2017. Today she is a freelance writer who focuses on consumer technology, entertainment, and higher education.

Advice From Admissions Officers on Application Essay Topics

July 10th, 2018

From ECS

College Admissions

Admissions Officers Discuss 3 Common Essay Topics
A college essay topic doesn’t have to be unique to be a good choice for applicants, experts say. (U.S. News & World Report, July 9)

Tips And Strategies For The Effective Essay Writing

July 10th, 2018

BY STEVEN LARUE

Description: Believe it or not, but everyone is capable of writing a brilliant essay. It is just important to be aware of the most effective practical tips that can help you write an essay that would impress not only your teacher but you as well. Here are the best tricks that will make your essay writing as powerful and passionate as possible.

Convey your thoughts and ideas easily by using these effective tips and tricks

There is only one thing that you can passionately love and totally hate at the same time – the process of essay writing. But why can it be so painful? Why do we usually feel like squeezed lemons after completing the task that seemed to be so interesting and captivating? Maybe we are just doing something wrong. It`s time to admit it. Really, there is a plenty of useful techniques we can take advantage of to make our essay writing unbelievable pleasant. You don`t believe it? Just take a look at them!

Choose the topic you are excited about

Never write about something that bores you. Do not be afraid to ask your teacher to change your topic because it doesn`t inspire you. If you are asked to highlight one aspect of the book, then choose something that is really important and interesting for you even if others may say that your writing won`t make any sense. Just show the conflict between different ideas and prove that your opinion is correct. It is a great mistake to write what your teacher wants to read. You are a unique person who holds a unique perspective.

Use the five sentence trick

This trick will help you create a solid basis for your essay. Write five original sentences that will be the skeleton of your paper. It is one of the best ways to organize your thoughts when you feel overwhelmed. Then everything`s going to go much, much smoother. It is also useful to jot down any ideas that suddenly spring to your mind. So, don`t forget to have a notebook with you at all times.

 Give your mind a rest

Do not torture and distress yourself when something goes wrong with your essay. Sometimes it can be really difficult to make yourself to come up with something new. Our brain wasn`t made for a marathon. So, it is just absurdly to sit at a desk all day when inspiration doesn`t strike. In such cases you should go outside or just look out a window, take a nap, exercise and even meditate. It is said that writers get some of their most beautiful ideas when they are not working.

Communicate clearly by using effective and accurate vocabulary

Do not ever stop working on your vocabulary. It is the first thing that shows your intelligence. A good writer should clearly understand the concept of language economy. In fact, we can say an extraordinary amount in very few well chosen words. You should take into account that not all long essays are good essays. Just form and keep a new habit – expanding your vocabulary on a daily basis. Use a thesaurus, read widely, start a vocabulary book and try to learn roots, prefixes and suffixes.

Sound smarter in your writing

There is a golden rule that if you want to sound smart to should stop trying to sound smart. The phrase “the simplicity of genius” shouldn`t slip your mind when you are writing. Brilliant essay is a simple essay. You should always have something to say to your readers, otherwise all your words will sound meaningless. Be specific and choose simple words. Write short sentences that are easier to read and understand. Eliminate words that add nothing to the meaning of your sentences. Make the tone of voice you use for writing an essay engaging and interesting. And just don`t ruin the whole essay by using poor grammar. Check the rules if needed.

Let it marinate

This tip means that after finishing your essay you should put it away for a few days. As the practice shows, a new inspiration will definitely come to you and you will be able to add something to your essay and make it even better. What is more, it will give you the opportunity to notice those mistakes that stayed out of your sight before.

 

 

The Best Low-Cost Business Ideas for Students

July 8th, 2018

BY SYLVIA KOHL

Want to earn some extra cash to support yourself throughout college and acquire experience on the way? If so, why not start your own business? If so many students find time and energy to drudge away at part-time (and sometimes even full-time) jobs while in college, is running your own small business all that different? One thing is certain – in terms of money, experience and just plain fun, it can be much more attractive than working for somebody. Here are a few interesting ideas for you to try. They don’t require much startup budget and won’t take up all your time:

1.    Residential Cleaning Service

You can start your own cleaning business by just posting an ad online. It may start a little slow, but once you get a couple of clients and demonstrate that you can be trusted, new customers will begin cropping up through referrals alone. Cleaning service is all about trust, and no amount of advertising will replace personal referrals from those who are grateful to you. In time, you can recruit other students to join you, turning this into a full-fledged business. If you don’t believe it can be done, check out Student Maid – currently among the biggest independently owned cleaning services in Florida, it was started by a single person exactly the way we’ve described.

2.    Dropshipping Store

Drop shipping is an arrangement in which you are responsible for sales, and the third party (a store or a manufacturer) stores the inventory and ships products to the client. In its simplest form, it works like this: you start an online store, but when somebody buys something, it is the supplier who fulfills the order. The only things you have to do is ensure that sales keep flowing and do your own customer service. You may deal with a single supplier or sell different groups of products aimed at different categories of clients. Stuff you can sell this way varies from mattresses to jewelry and from clothing to perfume, so don’t limit your fantasy.

3.    Making Chatbots

Chatbot industry has reached the point when almost any business worth anything either needs one or believes it does. This means that demand currently is almost unlimited, and anybody willing to work in this field can find clients if he asks for a reasonable price. What to do if you don’t have any programming experience? In fact, you don’t need it. You can successfully build chatbots with zero knowledge of coding – all you have to do is read how they work, choose a platform and start working.

4.    Selling Digital Products of Courses

The good thing about digital products is that once they are created, you don’t have to spend nearly as much time on them as on any other type of work. What can you sell? Anything you know a lot about. Digital products are usually based on personal knowledge or talents. If you have any skill or hobby, you can teach somebody or tell somebody about, and you can potentially create a sellable product out of it.

5.    Tutoring

If you are currently in college, you are likely to know more about some academic subjects than most people do. Even if you don’t consider your level of knowledge to be anything special, remember that there are always those who struggle with the things you believe to be easy. There are a lot of opportunities to advertise your services in college, so why not try it? There will always be a demand for good tutors.

Starting your own independent business, even if it is very small, can be incredibly rewarding. It will also give you the necessary experience that can be used later – and the earlier you start out, the better.

Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.

 

 

Why college doesn’t have to be stress-inducing swamp

July 6th, 2018

BY ANTON LUCANUS

 All over the world, going to university or college is a rite of passage for millions of students each year. There are a lot of moving pieces that shift and switch when students uproot their lives and go to university or college. No matter how well suited an individual thinks they are for life as a university student, there will be at least one point in time where they feel the pressure, where they start to crack. Learning to balance and give enough to studying, working, loved ones, and time alone (along with all the other spinning wheels and cogs that turn up) is so incredibly important. Whether it is something as simple as moving into one’s dorm and deciding which mattress for college students best fits their needs (and budget), or something more complex like struggling to keep their health in check while committing time to studies, balance is key.

 

As with everything in life, studying moves along a little easier when one knows the value and actively practices balancing the different aspects of life as a student. No matter how much a student prepares and organises for this drastic lifestyle change, there will inevitably be bumps along the way – that is unavoidable. It is also how we learn. Take a step back, the bumps in the road in stride, and everything else will more than likely fall into place. And if it doesn’t…it will probably make for a good story one day.

 

For a lot of college students, going to school is the first time that they have had financial independence – handling money becomes more of a responsibility and less of a novelty. It also becomes an absolute necessity if one is to survive live as a student. While a lot of students live on campus or move into their own place when they go to university or college, there are also students that prefer to live at home and commute into campus (or even study online, effectively taking the commute out of the equation). If a student has moved into their own plus they are rendered entirely responsible for their finances. Others still live at home but previously had more free time to work more – the cull to leftover time away from studying can be substantial, so students must learn to handle their finances responsibly and diligently.

 

One of the best lessons that anyone can learn before even going into university is that, despite what everyone tries to tell you, professors are not the enemy. Some students feel like their educators are on a power trip and while sometimes this can certainly appear to be the case, most your professors genuinely just want to help their pupils.

 

If students communicate, get their assessments done in time, and actually show up to classes (there is nothing worse than getting to the end of the semester feeling like you smashed it, and then failing because you did not attend enough classes to get the attendance marks to pull you over the line), chances are that their professors will not only learn their name over time, but treat them kindly in return. If students are lucky enough, their professors and tutors might even have some contacts in the industry if students are interested in taking on a paid placement during their studies. Paid placements can be tremendously useful once students graduate, so if a student has the time and energy to commit to an additional facet of their studies, it is advantageous to do so.

 

Another thing to note with educators is that they are obviously there to help students academically, but they are also more often than not open to helping their students with health concerns, whether it be agreeing to extend an assessment deadline by a few days or taking the time outside of the classroom to set up a meeting during office hours to answer any questions their students may have. Your mental health must be a priority always, but this is especially true when you are a student. Do not (repeat: do not) skim on taking care of yourself in all aspects of your health just to push your grades up by a few marks. To be able to succeed academically, a student must be able to take care of themselves first and foremost – no one produces their best work when they are off their game.

 

University and college are known for being not only places of esteemed, higher education, but breeding grounds for stress, anxiety, and general unease. With so many moving pieces constantly in motion, it is inevitable that the wheels fall off even the most well-oiled machines sometimes. Nobody will get through their years as a university student without being tested in some way or another. The key to getting through the stress-filled haze and out the other side is hard work and patience. As Robert Frost said, “the only way out is through”. Fight for your right and your place to educate yourself – in a world that is constantly being trailed and tested, the world needs more fighters. Be one of them – starting now.

 

Byline – Anton Lucanus is the Director of Neliti. During his college years, he maintained a perfect GPA, was published in a top cancer journal, and received many of his country’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships. Anton writes for The College Puzzle as a means to guide current students to achieve personal and educational fulfilment during college life. You can contact Anton via email at antonlucanus@gmail.com

 

 

 

3 Tips for College Students to Save Money While Shopping

July 5th, 2018

 

By: Susan Parker

Most college students live on a budget and in the process, learn financial prudence. If you’re a college student, you have to watch out for your expenses, otherwise you’ll get into debt.

Though it is neither fun nor easy, you become smarter at the end of it all.

Here are some tips to help you stretch that dollar, so you can save money while shopping.

Look for discounts

One of the best ways to save money is to find discounts and coupons for all the things you want to buy. Many companies today offer a range of discounts on their products to increase their sales and to build their customer base. You should just know where to look for these discounts.

These online discounts and coupons are easy to find if you understand how SEO works, as all companies incorporate the principles of SEO to help their customers find what they want. In general, below are some tips that help you find the right discounts and coupons.

  • There are many sites dedicated to giving away coupons and discounts. Constantly scour these sites to find coupons for the things you want to buy.
  • The retailer’s site may offer coupons when you buy certain goods or even free shipping if you order above a certain amount.
  • Make the most of search engine optimization to find coupons. Type the name of the product you want to buy in the search bar of search engines like Google and Bing, and this will display a set of relevant results for you. Navigate through these results to find the coupons you want.
  • Buy in bulk as this is where most discounts are offered.
  • Many sites even offer students discounts if you register with your college email ID. So, make the most of this option.

Share your rent and utilities

Privacy is a luxury that you can’t afford while being a student. So, share your housing and utilities with a bunch of other students. If you’re particular, you can look for like-minded individuals, but don’t be too insistent on that. Just find roomies who will be willing to share the cost with you.

Stay on top of your budget

You have to understand that some things are a big no-no while you’re in college simply because you can’t afford it.

Avoid frivolous activities like eating out often as it is definitely more expensive than cooking your own food at home. Also, try drinking water instead of juices, when you’re thirsty and this can help you to save money as well.

Another area to save money is to look for amenities in your college. Most colleges offer free fitness classes, gyms and movie nights, so try to make the most of it instead of spending for the same outside.

Thus, life as a college student is tough because you have to live within a budget. But nevertheless, it is a great learning experience and helps to prepare you for a world beyond college.

 

Susan Parker is a writer and tech geek. She volunteers for local environmental conservation programs and writes stories online about things that inspire her. Email: SusanWritesWell@gmail.com

How To Write A Persuasive College Essay

July 3rd, 2018

BY BRETT CLAWSON

Whether you are in high school or college, you will need to write a persuasive essay at some point. A persuasive essay is a composition in which the writer presents a clear explanation and convincing evidence to persuade readers to share a viewpoint. Essay writing can bring either an opportunity or challenge. The goal is to write a compelling essay that perhaps convince the audience in the process.

Articulate Your Position

The only way to make the audience understand your goals and interpret the essay is to articulate your position. Writers should avoid ambiguous positions and use simple terminology, deliberate claims, and careful distinctions to cut through the confusion. You should use evidence and data to make readers understand your views.

Understand Your Audience

It’s crucial to know the interests and preferences of your audience when writing a persuasive paper. Your goal is not to prove to the teacher that you read an article or report facts to the targets. Instead, you want to persuade the teacher and readers to share your viewpoint. You might need to use different approaches for different audiences, so it’s crucial to know your target readers. Whether a writer wants to persuade a panel or class, the tone should adjust accordingly.

Organize Your Essay

The key to sticking to the crux of the argument throughout the essay is to get organized. Writers should use a thesis statement to preview the ideas they want to discuss. In short, a thesis statement helps writers to structure their subsequent paragraphs and lay out their supporting points. You could also use a thesis to lay out evidence that will backup your argument. Writers should start with making an outline that should include an introduction, thesis statement, and the body, which should incorporate the evidence gathered and a conclusion. Your conclusion should tie all the collected evidence and use insightful ways to restate the argument.

Persuade Audiences with Passion

It’s far easier to argue a topic that has a personal meaning persuasively. As such, it’s crucial to bring passion to an essay. Pick the most exciting topic if you have the freedom to make a choice. Choosing a fascinating subject matter can motivate a writer to dig deeper into the research and write with passion. It also allows writers to convey their feelings to the audience in an energetic way. In fact, readers are more likely to understand a viewpoint when writers channel their emotions into a rational argument. That makes readers receptive to the core argument of the essay.

Research Extensively

It is not enough to persuade readers with unfounded or inaccurate information. As such, writers need to familiarize themselves with all views of their chosen subject before starting to write an essay. You should research the best evidence for and against your argument. Note that only credible, legitimate sources such as peer-reviewed articles and journals can support a persuasive argument. It’s easier to write an exciting essay when one understands the strengths and weaknesses of different viewpoints. Researching will also enable authors to formulate a rational defense against scholars that will disagree with their perspective. It’s also easier to intensify an argument and prune distracting facts when one understands the subject matter well. In short, writers need to know what they will discuss before starting to write an essay.

Draw on Life Experiences

Part of the research process can and should include drawing back on life experiences. Living away from home and in a different country, for example, can be beneficial to your personal, academic, and social growth. Students could enroll in either structured or unstructured gap year programs and spend their holiday volunteering or traveling abroad. Some gap year benefits include acceleration of the transition from high school to college. It also ensures students experience life beyond school and apply real-life experiences in solving mathematical problems and writing essays. Below is a guide to writing a fantastic persuasive article.

Be Honest

Ideas in a persuasive essay often have consequences. Make sure you are aware of the implications of a topic that seems controversial in the public realm. You won’t worry about lawsuits if you write an essay responsibly and with integrity. Maintaining honesty and mindedness in a persuasive essay helps avoid descending into deceit and fallacy. Integrity is what distinguishes a compelling article from propaganda. As such, writers should be careful not to let their personal bias mischaracterize sound evidence or opposing views.

Author:

Brett Clawson is a writer and entrepreneur with a degree in Business Management. He enjoys researching emerging business trends and sharing their impact on business and the industry as a whole. He believes that the best way to influence others and share his knowledge with the world is through his writing.

5 things college students should never do on social media

July 2nd, 2018

BY MELISSA BURNS

In the past, what one did in college – including irresponsible, dubious and just plain idiotic things – mostly became memory fodder. Something particularly stupid could have become local campus lore, but the rest of the world was none the wiser. After graduating, you were able just to turn a blank page and get on with your life.

Today, however, social media opens up a whole new world of possibilities to behave irresponsibly and do stupid things – and, unlike before, it is all open to the entire world to see and remains publicly available years after posting. A silly Facebook post can seriously harm both your studies and your future career. Here we’ve gathered some of the worst things you should avoid doing on social media.

1.    Posting objectionable photos

A good rule of a thumb is to ask yourself this before posting any photo online: “Do I want my parents, my grandparents, my teachers, my future employers, my pastor, my future children and all the people I know to see it?” Because chances are, they will, and at the worst possible moment. Some photos (e.g., of illegal activities) can cause you harm right now, resulting in expulsion and even criminal charges. Others may float up five years from now when you are applying for a job. Social media profile checks were a relative novelty a few years ago, but today they are much more mainstream. Whatever you post becomes an almost unerasable online footprint – even if you delete some of the photos later, somebody could have already downloaded them.

2.    Drunk posting

A post that looks and feels like a good idea after a tenth beer can (and probably will) look quite different the next day. If you know yourself doing this from time to time, either keep away from social media when trashed or get into a habit of taking an early night at parties. Everything you can write about when drunk you can still cover after a good night’s sleep, only without all the awkwardness it may cause.

3.    Trash talking your professors (elected officials, other colleges)

Firstly, it is never a good idea to alienate somebody who may influence your grades while you are still in college. Secondly, it is an even worse idea to post negative comments about people who can help you find a job in future. Professors usually have professional connections in the industry they teach about and can give you valuable job searching advice. You may feel annoyed at a particular professor right now and relieving your anger with a testy comment may be cathartic, but it isn’t worth ruining your prospects.

4.    Relying on privacy settings

It is best to take for granted that anything you post online is likely to be seen by the least suitable person at the least appropriate moment, no matter how much security and privacy boxes you’ve ticked. Privacy settings get updated without you noticing, information leaks happen even with the seemingly most secure networks, and you may just forget what else you’ve posted under this or that tag when giving somebody access to it.

5.    Talking on religious or political topics

In an ideal world, one’s religious, political or other beliefs shouldn’t influence whether you get hired or not. We don’t live in such a world, and by making your opinion on controversial issues publicly known you alienate large shares of your potential employers.

All these tips make handling social media look like walking through a minefield, and there is something in this analogy. However, if you use your common sense, you won’t have any problem telling what is appropriate on SM and what isn’t.

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Follow her @melissaaburns or contact at burns.melissaa@gmail.com